...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album



And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!







William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.


"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"


Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10




Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5




For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14



Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?



It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."



Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!



Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!





Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The First Visit to Dr JF

I go see Dr JF for my first prenatal visit and it couldn't have gone worse. I hadn't realized that he was such an ass. After all is said and done and he's finished yelling at me, he sends his secretary in to tell me that 1. I'm too high risk for his office, and 2. there are no longer any high risk doctors in my area and 3. if I don't want to drive an hour to the valley for each visit, I'll have to see if I can be seen at the Public Health Clinic. Now doesn't that sound delightful? I tell her that it's fine that Dr JF won't see me because he is an unmitigated ass. She says she's heard that before. She REALLY says that! She says she heard him yelling at me and could she please make it up to me by setting up a visit at Public Health Clinic for me? Given my history of rocky pregnancies, she and I decide it would be best to be seen there sooner rather than being seen somewhere else later. Eeeesh. That certainly did not go as well as any of my other first prenatal visits. I go home tired and angry and worried. I call my good friend Bits who so far is one of three people who know I'm pregnant. The other two are, of course, The Dear Daddy and The Other Mommy. She tells me how severely Dr JF mismanaged two of her four pregnancies and I wind up happy that the high and mighty Dr JF thinks I'm too high risk for him. She says I'll be in good hands at the PHC and points out that if I run in to trouble, I don't want to have to drive for an hour to see a doctor in the valley. So it's all good.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dr JF and the first trip to the hopspittle

I call Dr JF's office because he'd agreed to see me and I had an appointment for April 29th, but Dr S said my blood pressure was too high and he wanted me to be seen sooner. So Dr JF's nurse said she couldn't fit me in any sooner, to go to the emergency room. So I go. I'm in and out in less than an hour, which is miraculous. I'll wind up paying $750.00 for that trip, which is ludicrous. I get a script for Methyldopa 250mg three times daily.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Beloved Dr S

My beloved Dr S followed me through my pregnancy with my Youngest, Soon-To-Be-Middle. He also very tenderly broke the news to me when we lost a baby. I expect similar news today. I find, despite my reservations, that I am hoping the news is good, but trying not to be too hopeful.

Backtrack to that last time...
I'd gotten a new Nickelback album and I was 30 minutes early for my appointment, so I popped it in the CD player for a listen. I'd spotted just a little bright red at work the night before so Dr S agreed to see me right away. I'd downright hemorrhaged with the both the Oldest and the Youngest, so I wasn't alarmed. While the ultra sound tech did her thing I was hearing the Nickelback song in my head, "Now I know whyyyyy-yyy I felt like s*** when I woke up this morning." The tech leaves to go get Dr S. Just like during my whole pregnancy with the Youngest. But then Dr S came into the room and as he walked past me, he ever so gently stroked his finger across my left cheek. And I knew. He'd never done that before. I was very quiet while he repeated the ultra sound, just like he always had before. But this wasn't before and he was about to say things he'd never said before. "I'm so sorry," he says. "There is no baby now." Pause. He takes my hands in his. "I cannot tell you why. It was fine and healthy the last time we looked." He's gentle and tender but I can't stop sobbing. I get dressed. I leave. I sit in the van to call The Dear Daddy. I call The Other Mommy and she insists on keeping the kids over night. I drive home. Walking up the driveway, I wonder how I'm going to go on...we hadn't talked about names yet, but I'd wanted to name her Hannah. When The Dear Daddy gets home we stand in the kitchen holding each other. We're both grateful that we hadn't told the kids about this pregnancy yet. We've been through many hard and painful things in our long relationship. The losses of parents, jobs, friends, siblings, a few dreams we'd had to discard, some terrors we'd had to face. This new pain proved to be the single most awful thing we'd experienced. It also turned out to be in the long run, the thing, the tie, the glue, that would hold us together forever.

But that was before. To this day I cannot hear that song without remembering Hannah, but it's still a favorite all the same.  So today on my way to see Dr S, I pulled over to the side of the road to dig that CD out. It just felt right as I slipped it into the player.

During the appointment there's a nurse on my left taking a health history and the ultrasound tech on my right, busily sliding a goo covered wand over my abdomen. What's different this time is that good ol' Dr S is standing over the tech watching. Different than before of course because this is today. While the nurse on my left continues asking questions I am vaguely aware of the big LCD screen mounted on the wall above the exam table. I see a jumping yellow line across the bottom and assume it's uterine thrill. I also see hazy black-white-grey images and assume it's my uterus. I must have really been counting on bad news because I've seen a ton of ultrasounds in my private life and in my career, but I had no clue until Dr S said, "Let Mom hear." Then it clicked. It was the heartbeat. My baby's heartbeat. The tech ran the cursor over the baby. My baby.

Dr S says the baby looks great and it's heartbeat is just fine. He cannot find a source of the bleeding I've been having and sees none now. He wants me to take a baby aspirin every day and to stop working to be on bed rest. He said the baby's size is consistent with a seven week intra uterine pregnancy and gives me an estimated due date of December 6th. Just like before. Hannah's EDD was December 6th. But this is today and I have two pictures of the tiny little baby growing inside me today.

Who is The Other Mommy?

The Other Mommy is our wonderful baby sitter care giver. She's become my very dear friend. She started taking care of The Oldest when she was just four months old. When The Youngest came along, she started caring for him too. She is a beautiful person with a great big squishy heart and the only person I've ever met that could make Mary Poppins look like a crack-head. She's that good. My kids love her and that makes her The Other Mommy. She also deserves her privacy. So I'll only ever call her The Other Mommy here. She rocks!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reality Check

I went to my first ever appointment for this pregnancy today. The very nice nurse tells me, "We have a postive test here, but I suspect that you already knew that." I nod. I gag. I ask her for her garbage can. She goes to get a wet paper towel and drapes it across the back of my neck while I breath deep and gag over her garbage can. So that's it...the official result. Not a botched home test. I am really pregnant.

She sets me up with lots of written information after taking an extensive detail of my symptoms. I tell her I've been spotting pink for several days. She says that implantation bleeding shouldn't last more than a day, but it could also be nothing...or something.

I go home with a heavy heart. I can't be pregnant at this time in my life. But I am. Or, at least I was. Am I still? I'm really torn. I do another pee stick test, knowing that even if it's already over, the test will likely still turn positive simply because of the hormones. It still makes me feel better to see the little clock give way to the flashing PREGNANT. I nap while I wait for the kids to get home, and while I nap I pray to God that He will either allow me to emotionally commit to this pregnancy or keep me from bonding if it's not going to come to fruition.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Symptoms

As I leap out of bed in the morning, sometimes in the middle of the night, with calf cramps that could make St Peter cuss, I think to myself that this didn't start nearly as early or as severely with my Oldest or my Youngest. Then I realise that Youngest is soon to become Middle...as if the kid weren't quirky enough already!

Then I think to myself rather gloomily, that is only if Newest sticks. I've had the severe headaches I'd had with all my other pregnancies, and only slight nausea so far, but I've also been spotting pink. It's really hard to get my mind around being pregnant again when I don't know if it's going to stick.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

So how did THAT happen?

The honest answer is that I don't know! After failing to get pregnant on our own for about a million years, we turned to fertility treatment to conceive our daughter and son. Our daughter was about to turn 10 and our son was 6 1/2. We were done. Finished. Complete. Or so we thought. Infertile? Yeah...turns out not so much!

I'd mentioned to a girlfriend late one night in March that I felt pregnant. With my last period being on March 1st, really, how pregnant could I feel? But still, I knew. The rabbit died. I was knocked. I'd stubbed my toe. I was in the family way.

No...that can't be right! I'd just turned 44 in February. Surely this was just the first signs of menopause, right? Nope. I was unwilling to wait any longer on April 2nd, so as soon as The Dear Daddy walked in the door, I stowed the kids with him and ran off to Wal-Mart to buy dog food. And a pregnancy test.

And 30 minutes later, there it was. Two pink lines? No...not these days. Pee tests have come quite far since I was last in the market for them. I'd hidden in the bathroom and had done my thing on the stick and now it was apparently doing it's thing...a little clock was blinking at me. And then it wasn't. Instead, there was a bold capitalized blinking word in it's place. >PREGNANT< >PREGNANT< >PREGNANT< >PREGNANT< >PREGNANT<

Enter the soon to be 10 year old. No knocking. Just entering. "Mom, what's that?" she asks, eyeing the little stick. "Go get your Dad," I say while trying to block her from getting a better view while simultaneously maintaining a safe distance between myself and that danged stick. Enter the Dear Daddy. He sees the stick and the flashing message. Enter the daughter. "Get out!" we say in unison. He stares at the stick. "How do you feel?" he asks. "Well...how do you feel?" I ask. He says "I don't know..."